October 10th, 2008
I'll probably write some big thing later on about it but for now let me just state for the record that I thought the new American adaptation of Life on Mars, which was on last night at 10:00, completely and utterly failed to suck.
Am very glad they scrapped the original American version (set in LA) and re-tooled the entire thing (now set in NYC) and am most glad to see that the people working on this new one have not only seen the original British series but they get it. Keitel for one clearly did his homework. I was impressed.
I'm glad to hear you say that. I was intrigued by the Globe article and the subject pushes some of my whohoo buttons. I'll have to check it out.
|Date:||October 10th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)|| |
As one might expect, I'm very much in the "What is the point? Why not watch
the original?" camp.
For the American perspective. A "What if it had happened in New York?" kind of perspective. The hot issues of the early 70s that fueled New York's urban problems were similar to, but not quite the same as Manchester's urban problems (Pakistani immigrants on one side of the Atlantic, say, and Greenwich Village Vietnam protesters on the other.) Part of me is watching to see how that plays into things.
Plus, it's another excuse to watch car chases and fistfights and shootouts to a great soundtrack, so hey.
Really! Haven't seen it but I'm tempted to watch it just out of curiosity. I'm one of the people who think "hmm, might suck but at least Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt has possibility."
They let Harvey be as Gene Hunt-ish as he needs to be. He's sexist, he's racist, and just like in the British series opener, he drops all that to put on the Be Kind To Little Old Ladies act to get information out of her. He knows what's what.
I think the problem with the Colm Meaney verison of Hunt was that everything about that failed pilot had to do with restraint -- budgetary, casting, direction, or otherwise. It's obvious those behind that kept going "Well we can't make Gene that bad, can't have him that racist, that's just wrong..." whereas now we have a production team that's not afraid to make him wrong because that's who the hell he is. And ABC, (barring any negative viewer feedback from the opener) let them do just that.
I just saw the beginning of the episode. It was OK, and it was interesting how many scenes got recreated shot for shot, but I missed John Simm terribly; the guy playing Sam isn't selling the perplexity and occasional horror of his situation quite enough.
Keitel was fine, but it does change the visual dynamic to have Gene be a considerably smaller man than Sam. On reflection I don't think it's a bad change; instead of the big brawler bullying the skinny college boy, it's a terrifying older weaselly dude who can still get the better of bland Brick Rockjaw. There's something New York about that.
I totally agree. Last I had heard of it, it was still set in LA , so imagine my surprise when I tuned in to find it moved to NY and much closer to the BBC original.
|Date:||October 10th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)|| |
I must be missing something here. In fact, I know I am, cuz I wasn't aware that there was a British version of this show. The pilot I watched last night was extremely weak and hokey. Of course, my main reason for watching was to see how this guy ended up back in 1973. There are millions of different ways to handle time travel, and this was one of the lamest I've ever seen.
Unless this guy is actually on Mars and the Martians are performing some kind of social experiment, I am officially disappointed.
Well, you may be disappointed as the series progresses, because the sci-fi aspect of the time travel (if it is that -- he could be in a coma, he could be insane, or he could have travelled through time) is just the background. The real focus of the show is the 1970s cops and how he fits in with them.
And we may wait a long time for an "actual" answer.
|Date:||October 10th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)|| |
Yeah, if there's no Quest To Return To His Original Time, it's not gonna be too gripping for me. I understand what they're going for as you explain it. Just not my cuppa tea.
Thanks for the low-down.
|Date:||October 10th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)|| |
There _is_ some Quest To Return To His Original Time, actually. I'm not
sure if there's as much as you'd want there to be.
|Date:||October 11th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)|| |
As a detective, I figured the first thing he'd check into would be the department from which he was transferred. I thought that'd be a solid lead to follow. When he didn't do that by the end of the episode, I decided that this just wasn't a show for me.
That was actually something that bugged me about the original series, the whole time I was watching it. If I were in Sam's situation, the first thing I'd do would be to go directly to Hyde and see what's there, and how there can be this other adult 1973 Sam Tyler with his own life. If you want to figure out something that doesn't make any sense, you go in the direction of greatest cognitive dissonance, and that's Hyde. But the writers weren't really all that interested in exploring that, and it only comes up toward the end of the run.
|Date:||October 11th, 2008 09:44 am (UTC)|| |
That really perplexed me, too. I'd have visited/called Hyde very very early on.
Well, he'd tried contacting the number in Hyde he'd been given, which turned into a Useful Plot Device later on. But I'm willing to bet that had he tried to actually travel there, something conveniently weird or unexpected ("That was weird! And unexpected!") would have prevented him from leaving Manchester altogether. Kinda like the Truman Show.
|Date:||October 10th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm glad to hear you liked it. We dvred it, but I probably won't get to watch it until this weekend. I was hoping for The Office and afraid I'd get Coupling for the adaptation. There are so many good people in it, though, that I've been hopeful.